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Striped CatShark

Threat Level:  low

 

 

 

  • STRIPED CATSHARK

Scientific name..............Poroderma Africanum

Family name..................Scyliorhinidae

Other common names.........Pyjama shark

 

  • GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The Striped catshark is easily recognized by its pattern of solid horizontal stripes. Like the other two species that belong to the genus Poroderma, it has a stout, well-tapered body and a relatively short tail fin. They have a broad, flat head region with a blunt snout. It also has barbels on the middle fold of the nasal flap, which extend back toward the front of the mouth. There barbels are short and usually end before the mouth. Except for the broad, rounded pectorals, the fins are not large. The dorsal fins, however, are distinctive as they are very closely spaced and occur well towards the tail. The first dorsal originates behind the level of the pelvic fin axils. Although patterns and colours vary with age and locality, all Poroderma species have body markings based on seven longitudinal stripes, one extending along the centre of the back and three paralles stripes on either side.

 

  • SIZE

These sharks can attain a length of 3.1 feet. Males mature at 22.8 to 29.9 inches and female mature at 25.5 to 28.3 inches. At birth these sharks measure 6 inches long.

 

  • COLOR

The color of the striped catshark is a creamy-brown with darker or almost black stripes which become broken towards the tail and lower sides. In adults these stripes may have lighter centres. Pale color underneath.

 

  • FEEDING HABITS

Striped catsharks are nocturnal, so they are active at night and they move about the bottom in search of food. Its diet is quite varied and includes small bottom-dwelling crustaceans, such as shrimp and crabs, small bony fishes, cephalopods, and mollusks.

 

  • BEHAVIOUR

Nocturnal, sometimes day-active.

 

  • HABITAT

Eastern South Atlantic, western Indian Ocean off South Africa, possibly Madagascar and Mauritius. The striped catshark inhabits temperate coastal waters, and is common on shallow inshore rocky reefs as well as in deeper waters to about 330 feet. This shark will hide in caves or rest in reef crevices during the day.

 

  • REPRODUCTION

This species is oviparous, lays pairs of eggcases ( one/oviduct ). During the mating season, they lay two tendril-bearing egg cases every few days. The young emerge after five to six months and are about 6 inches long.

 

  • SHARK ATTACKS

They are considered harmless.

 

  • POPULATION REPORT

Common. Hardy in captivity. Taken by trawlers and anglers.

 

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